April 2023

Communications Industry News

3 min

Welcome to the next edition of Venable's Communications Industry News. This monthly newsletter will feature insights from our Communications Practice Group on the latest issues affecting the wireless, telecommunications and space industries.


In Response to Receiver NOI, FCC Issues Draft Spectrum Management Principles

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a draft Policy Statement, "Principles for Promoting Efficient Use of Spectrum and Opportunities for New Services." This action builds on the FCC's April 2022 Notice of Inquiry, which considered whether and the extent to which the FCC may regulate both the transmitter and receiver components of wireless systems and the resulting impact on spectrum management. The approach in the Policy Statement is the FCC's way of finding a path toward better management of spectrum sharing and coexistence without resorting to the direct regulation of receivers.

The Right Approach to Investments in New Space Enterprises

The United States is in the midst of incredible growth in the New Space sector, from new low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations and Earth sensing satellites to the development of novel in-space servicing, assembling, and manufacturing (ISAM) enterprises. Private companies are planning space stations and lunar and Mars missions.

CHIPS Act Rollout Continues as Commerce Department Proposes National Security "Guardrails" on Incentives Program and Flexes Oversight Muscle

In its continuing efforts to strengthen the United States' hand in its ongoing international economic bout with China, the Biden Administration's Department of Commerce last week issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to further carry out Congress's directives under the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act of 2022. The CHIPS Act is a landmark funding opportunity for government contractors aiming to contribute to the United States' mission to increase the competitiveness of its semiconductor supply chain, and thereby challenge Chinese dominance in the industry. This alert briefly reviews the CHIPS Act, the Commerce Department's proposed rules, and how these two items fit into a growing trend toward increased government oversight and enforcement.

ChatGPT and the Rise of Generative Artificial Intelligence Spark Debate on Copyright Protections of AI-Generated Works

The recent explosion in popularity of generative artificial intelligence (AI), such as ChatGPT, has sparked a legal debate over whether the works created by this technology should be afforded copyright protections. Despite that several lawsuits on the subject have been filed, and the U.S. Copyright Office has recently issued guidance clarifying its position, that the bounds of copyright protections for works created using AI are not yet clearly defined and many questions remain unanswered. For now, it appears that copyright eligibility for such works depends on the extent of human involvement in the creative process and whether any use of copyrighted work to generate a new work falls within the purview of the fair use doctrine.

Updating The Federal Communications Commission's Regulatory Regime for a New Era of Space Innovation: A February Virtual Discussion

From in-space manufacturing and assembly to privately run space stations and missions to Mars, we're entering a new era of space innovation, with the United States under pressure to take an international leadership role. The growth of these novel space activities increases the burden on the Federal Communications Commission to manage the needs of industry. Meanwhile, a conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court and new House majority leadership signal skepticism of broad agency interpretations of authority. Venable's Communications Practice partner Laura Stefani and guests from the satellite industry discussed pending FCC actions to modify the agency's approach to managing this new era of space.